Haileybury’s 1st and 2nd lacrosse XII played a weekday fixture against the formidable St Alban’s 1st XII in preparation for Saturday’s Eastern Qualifier for the National Small School’s Tournament.
Last year’s fixture was a 3-7 loss for our team, with a great knock-on effect for their focus. This year had much the same result for our fitness. St Alban’s quickly put away 2 vicious quick-stick goals in the first few minutes. Our goalie, Helen Mallinson, quickly caught on, though, and anticipated the cutters for our hard-pressed defence.
It seemed that we were in for another thrashing but then centre Izzy Baugh started to control possession. The slick surface made the midfield trickier than usual and the groundballs were heavily contested from both sides. Although St Alban’s were familiar with our attack strategies, dizzying reply goals by Danni Chambers, Lucy Phillips and Sophie Baird sealed the unexpected win.
Our 2nd XII also seemed to bring a little something extra to the field. The most memorable goal was fired in by centre, Ashling Coyle, under a heavy zone defence. Although the attack generally suffered from overcrowding the goal area, the team managed to keep the score level for the bulk of the match. As the defence froze forward momentum with well-timed interceptions, we began to hope for a draw. St Alban’s had other ideas, though, and shot-gunned twin goals in the final minute for a 2-4 loss of the 2nd side.